- Faith & Family
Some call it a battle between “David and Goliath” and with the recent decision of an appellate panel in the Circuit Court of the 11th Judicial Circuit that ruled in favor of Greene Dreams Shoe Care Center, Inc. [668 NW 62nd Street], the description might just be apropos. The owner, Tyrone Greene, 50, was issued a final judgment in August 2011 in his case against Miami-Dade County. He was awarded the sum of $13,000 and was allowed to remain in the location that has been the site of the family-owned business for almost 50 years. Greene says he was angry because a proposed County project sponsored by Vice Chairwoman Audrey Edmonson — the NW 7th Avenue Transit Village Project — did not include existing small businesses.
However, the ruling was appealed by the County, thus delaying the project and putting Greene and his business in limbo. Now, after the appellate panel has had its say, it seems that Greene has achieved a victory. Still, one has to wonder at what cost.
“Our lease doesn’t end until 2014 but we don’t feel like we have been treated right,” he said. “The place next to me had mold and the County didn’t do anything to clean it up. If they’re our landlords they have certain responsibilities. I just couldn’t see giving up easily after my father started this business and gave his blood, sweat and tears to keep it going. We are more than a business — we are a service to this community. This is more than just a $13,000 settlement. What we’re looking at here is a multi-million dollar corner. Even my father once told me that.”
Edmonson says that the County will still move forward — but they will be forced to initiate their plans around Greene Dream Shoes.
“I think it is a sad thing when you have one person that is allowed to stop progress, especially when there has been such an outcry from the community to initiate economic development along this 62nd Street hub,” she said. “Greene wanted more money than we could offer under federal guidelines. As for the building, yes the County does own it and we do want to demolish it. But we’re going to move forward and demolish the buildings around him. This is a huge project with $10 million alone provided by the federal government. It is what this community has been saying they need for many years. Now we are at the starting point. And we are going to proceed.”
By D. Kevin McNeir